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Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War

made a wrong turn. One combat correspondent with a battalion and Fox Company
radioman, along with two Koreans carrying the radios, too, became lost. Suddenly,
twenty enemy soldiers who had been moving to surround them opened fire. The
Marines dispersed and all managed to escape to safety.51
One other similar incident occurred, but again ended with the Marines finding
safety. "Thus ended the last of the day's series of lost Marine incidents; fortunately, too,
without any damage except to the self-confidence of the individuals involved."52
The companies of 2/5 were thinned by casualties. Easy reported its strength this
day as 6 officers and 133 enlisted; Fox, 5 officers, 142 enlisted. (A Marine Rifle
Company at full strength numbered 228.) Harassing artillery fire continued throughout
the day with at least five rounds per hour hitting on 812. One airstrike was brought in,
but could not be executed because radios were out. Marine FOs (forward observers)
continued to call in artillery, and after one deluge of proximity-fused HE (high explosive)
shells, one reported seeing two enemy "flying through the air."53
Just at dusk, two batteries of 4.5 inch rockets cut loose a few "ripples." These were
a weapon about as loud as any ever devised and the rain of rockets pounded a large
portion of 1052 with a heavy volume of HE, boosting Marine morale with accompanying
cheers. There were 144 rounds in a ripple of rockets. POWs called them "the automatic
mortars." The roads became impassable to trucks at this point. "All evacuations after
5s "Historical Diary," Second Battalion, Fifth Marines, 62.
52 Ibid., 64.
53 Ibid., 62, 63; United States Marine Corps, "Reference Data: Amphibious Operations, NAVMC 1048"
(Washington, D. C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1951): 1-6, copy in my posession.


Montandon, Joshua W. Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. Accessed January 21, 2017.